Cousins Gretchen, Emma, and Penelope are all dealing with what it means to be a Lovegrove. For Gretchen, it means she often feels like her head is going to explode. As a Whisperer, Gretchen constantly hears the whispers of other witches' spells. And while this does help her to know when one of her own spells is going wrong, the incessant buzzing and pain the whispers cause makes it difficult to use her gift.
But when something evil begins to menace Mayfair, Gretchen must find a way to master her power. Along with her cousins, a madcap named Moira, and the icy yet irresistible Tobias Lawless, Gretchen faces deadly threats and unimaginable loss in the hopes of preventing the terrible Greymalkin Sisters from rising again.
The Lovegrove cousins Emma Day, Gretchen Thom, and Penelope Chadwick haven't had a whole lot of time to get used to their newly awakened magical powers. Not since Emma accidentally unlocked them in A Breath of Frost. With Emma having the ability to control the weather, Penelope able to see things while touching them, Gretchen has the rarest of all magical abilities; she hears the whispers of witches past and present casting spells, and can detect how to make spells even stronger.
Whisper The Dead is most definitely Gretchen's turn to stand in the spotlight and either shine or fall on her face. And shine she does. While Emma, Penelope, and Moira, a Madcap witch we met in the first story all play their parts, it is Gretchen I loved the most. She doesn't care what most anyone says or feel about her. She drives almost everyone crazy, including her brother Godric, with her antics and her anti-social behavior. She's cheeky, brash, snarky, and possibly the most humorous character in this series bar none. But, it is her skill more than any other, that is key to unlocking the mystery behind London's magical problems.
I also liked her relationship with Tobias Lawless, wolf and member of the Order. Although it doesn't start out that way in the beginning because of Tobias's belief that Gretchen and her cousins are up to no good by using black magic, it definitely grows by leaps and bounds to the point where Gretchen is actually comfortable with him in her life, and trusts Tobias to have her back.
While Gretchen is having her moment as lead character, Emma doesn't necessarily fade into the background. In fact, I would say that Emma is definitely goal orientated and will stop at nothing to get what she wants even if it means unlocking a dangerous portal to bring back someone important to her. As with Gretchen, Emma's found her compass with Cormac. The ending leaves a whole lot of avenues to follow in regards to Emma and Cormac's happy ending.
If I am correct, Penelope should be the main character in the next installment, and let's just hope that she's able to actually impress me. This time out, she was the weak link in the story. She's gullible, she's easily impressed, and while finding an interesting connection to Cedric someone not royal born or magical like herself, she ends up being blindsided, and thus a very heart racing ending to the story.
I have to finish my review by saying that I would not be unhappy if Harvey decides to alter her pathway from Penelope to Moira. Moira is impressive, spunky, and determined. She and her gargoyles kept the story from becoming stale. Her strength is in doing the things that need to be done, even at the risk of her own life. As with Penelope, and Emma, Moira's fate hangs in the balance and one can only hope that the third installment matches the intensity and actions of Whisper the Dead.
Author - Alyxandra Harvey
Title - Whisper the Dead
Series - The Lovegrove Legacy # 2
Published by Bloomsbury USA Children's
Released: October 7, 2014
Genre: Historical, Paranormal
Format: E-Book 408 pages